The Charges and Penalties in North Carolina Vandalism Crimes

The term “vandalism” often conjures images of graffiti on the side of a parking deck, but the reality is that it’s a serious crime that takes many forms, from defacement of public property to the use of explosives to destroy a structure. North Carolina law punishes vandalism crimes with a combination of prison time, fines, and community service.

In North Carolina, vandalism charges depend upon the specific circumstances of your case, including your criminal history:

  • Graffiti Vandalism: A Class 1 Misdemeanor with a fine of $500 and 24 hours of community service unless:
    • If all of the following apply, you will be charged with a Class H Felony:
      • You have two or more prior convictions for violations of the North Carolina vandalism statutes;
      • The current violation was committed after the second conviction for violation of the law; and
      • The violation resulting in the second conviction was committed after the first conviction for violation of the law.
  • Injury to a Public Building: A Class 2 Misdemeanor with a penalty of 30 days to 6 months in jail
  • Malicious Use of Explosives or Incendiaries: The charge depends on the target of the explosive or the results of the act. If you willfully and maliciously damage any property belonging to someone else by an explosive or incendiary device, you will be charged with a Class G Felony, which results in ten to thirteen months in prison if you have no prior criminal convictions on your record. If you willfully or maliciously damage or aid in the damage of any place of worship, you will be charged with a Class E Felony. If it is your first criminal charge, you will face 20-25 months in prison.

Your criminal defense attorney can help you fight your charges and will work to try to reduce your sentence. If you find yourself in need of assistance, Attorney Cotten can help. He has served hundreds of satisfied clients through Wake, Johnston, Harnett, Orange, Sampson, Lee, and Chatham Counties and is ready to meet with you to discuss your case. Give him a call or click over to the main page to chat with a legal assistant 24 hours a day.